As a working practical nurse in Virginia, you’re probably aware of the critical shortage of registered nurses in your community, your state, and throughout the country. This shortage is just one of the many reasons that now may be the best time for you to take the next major step in your career by earning your Bachelor of Science in Nursing and becoming a fully licensed RN. As an LPN, you can earn your BSN quickly and affordably through one of Virginia’s LPN to BSN programs.
In this guide, you’ll find valuable information and advice that can help you get started, including a list of top schools, what you’ll learn in your course of study, how much money you can expect to pay for your degree, and how much time LPN to BSN programs in Virginia take to complete. Take the first step in your LPN to BSN journey below.
FIND PROGRAMS NEAR YOU:
Best LPN to BSN Programs in Virginia for 2024
We’ve spotlighted two of the best LPN to BSN programs available in Virginia today to give you a jumpstart on your program search and give you a clear idea of what to expect from the program you ultimately choose. Our selections are based on a number of important program elements that include affordability, academic quality, and access to useful student support services. Take a look at which schools and programs stand out in 2024.
Hampton University is a private, historically Black university located in the city of Hampton in the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News metropolitan area. Hampton offers an LPN to BSN option as part of its four-year traditional BSN program. The 120-credit, full-time course of study consists of two years of preprofessional coursework (which includes all general education and pre-nursing course requirements) followed by two years of professional nursing courses, labs, and clinical hours. The program is campus-based, with students attending classes on the school’s Hampton campus. The program does not allow credits to be transferred in for previously completed LPN courses. However, seven advanced placement credits are awarded to LPNs for their current LPN licensure.
Hampton University’s School of Nursing is fully approved by the Virginia Board of Nursing (VBON), meaning that graduates of the LPN to BSN program are academically eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam. In addition, Hampton University is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and its BSN program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
Eastern Mennonite University
Private, Mennonite-affiliated Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) offers a full range of undergraduate and graduate nursing degrees and certificates, including a four-semester LPN to BSN program. The LPN to BSN program at EMU can be considered a degree completion program in that it requires students to transfer in 58 semester hours of previously earned college credit (including general education and seven program-specific prerequisite courses) prior to the start of the LPN to BSN curriculum.
Following completion of the first semester of the program, LPNs are awarded seven semester credits that are applied to the Foundations of Professional Nursing and Fundamentals Practicum courses. Didactic nursing classes and simulation labs are attended on EMU’s Harrisonburg campus. Students also complete 350 direct-care clinical hours at a program-approved healthcare facility. LPNs can direct all of their clinical hours into their adult health practicum courses, allowing them to complete their clinical requirement in less time overall than traditional BSN students.
EMU is regionally accredited by the SACSCOC and its BSN program is CCNE-accredited and approved by the VBON. Graduates of the LPN to BSN program are eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam.
FAQs About LPN to BSN Programs in Virginia
What additional nursing skills and knowledge will I gain in an LPN to BSN program in Virginia?
As an LPN, you already understand the basic function and duties of your job, which is to provide basic nursing care under the direct supervision of an RN or other health practitioner. In your LPN to BSN program, you will receive nursing training that builds on your LPN skills to provide an advanced level of nursing care and take on the greater professional responsibilities of a registered nurse. These include:
- Record patient histories and evaluate conditions and symptoms
- Administer medications, start IVs, and order and perform treatments
- Operate medical equipment
- Communicate with patients and families about treatments provided, performing at-home treatment and care, and how to prevent and manage illnesses and injuries
- Supervise the care provided by certified nursing assistants and LPNs
Additionally, RNs often provide specialized care in any of several different areas of medical practice. Examples include neonatal, pediatrics, gerontology, nephrology, oncology, ambulatory care, and many others.
How long does it take to complete an LPN to BSN program in Virginia?
LPN to BSN programs offer the benefit of shorter completion times when compared to standard BSN programs. Still, you’ll need to complete all the credits your program requires, which is typically around 120 credits in total. For most bachelor’s programs, that means a total of four years of full-time study. However, your LPN to BSN program length will likely be shortened after factoring in previously earned transferable credits and the credits you’re awarded for your LPN licensure. Your completion time will also depend on whether you study full time or part time. You’ll find that most full-time LPN to BSN programs in Virginia require four semesters (plus a summer session, in some cases) over a two-year period once you’ve completed all prerequisite general education and pre-nursing course requirements.
How much do LPN to BSN programs in Virginia cost?
The costs of LPN to BSN programs in Virginia can vary – sometimes substantially – depending on several factors. These factors include the specific school you attend, the number of previously earned college credits you can transfer into the LPN to BSN program, and whether you attend a public or private school. To give you a basic idea what you might pay for your degree, we’ve included current cost figures for three LPN to BSN programs in Virginia below. Your total degree cost will be higher after factoring in additional expenses for items such as books, supplies, uniforms, the cost of traveling to and from classes and clinical practice sites, and more. It’s also important to keep in mind that LPN to BSN students are often eligible for significant funding help through one or more financial aid sources.
Eastern Mennonite University
Total Credits: 51
$20,705/semester (full-time 12 credits or more) or $1,450/credit (part-time, less than 12 credits)
East Tennessee State University
Total Credits: 52
$4,837/semester (full-time residents of Virginia counties bordering Tennessee); $5,242/semester (full-time residents of nonbordering Virginia counties)
Total Credits: 55
$13,099/semester (full-time, 10 credits or more) or $665/credit (part-time, fewer than 10 credits)
What are the admission requirements for LPN to BSN programs in Virginia?
Though quite similar, the specific admissions requirements for LPN to BSN programs in Virginia vary somewhat from program to program, so it’s important that you have a clear understanding before you apply. Here’s a look at a few requirements all Virginia LPN to BSN programs have in common:
- Completed practical nurse education program: Proof of completion of your LPN program through the submittal of official transcripts.
- Completion of prerequisite coursework: All programs require completion of substantial prerequisite college coursework. In most cases this will consist of all of the general education courses typically required for a bachelor’s degree plus pre-nursing (mostly health and science) courses. It is also typical that programs require applicants to meet a specific minimum cumulative GPA on previously completed college coursework.
- Current LPN license: Proof of a current, unencumbered practical nurse license from the VBON or another U.S. jurisdiction.
What should I look for in an LPN to BSN program in Virginia?
The purpose of earning a BSN degree is to gain the knowledge and skills needed for NCLEX-RN exam and RN licensure eligibility, as well as competent practice as a registered nurse. Three specific items you can look for in the LPN to BSN programs you consider are:
- Program approval by the VBON: Or approval by the board of nursing for the state where your program is based.
- Program accreditation: Either through the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing or CCNE.
- High NCLEX-RN pass rates: You can check current pass rates for Virginia-based BSN programs on this VBON prospective students webpage.
Can I get financial aid to help pay for my LPN to BSN program in Virginia?
If thinking about LPN to BSN program costs gives you sticker shock, you’ll be relieved to learn that there are a number of financial aid options available to qualifying students in most LPN to BSN programs in Virginia. For example, EMU claims that 99% of its undergraduate students receive substantial financial aid assistance, most commonly in the form of scholarships, grants, work-study opportunities, and loans. The biggest source of student loans is the U.S. Department of Education through its Federal Student Aid program. The federal government is also a major source of several funding opportunities specific to nursing education, including scholarships and loan repayment programs. Other important funding resources to check out are the nursing scholarship programs offered through the Virginia Department of Health’s Office of Health Equity.
To find out about funding opportunities for specific LPN to BSN programs, contact the financial aid offices at the schools offering those programs. To learn more about financial aid for nursing programs generally, check out EduMed’s nursing scholarship and financial aid guides.
Online LPN to BSN Programs in Virginia: What to Know
The Hampton University and EMU programs spotlighted earlier are both campus-based programs, although both may incorporate some online elements into their courses of study. For LPNs looking for a primarily online or hybrid LPN to BSN program in Virginia, the choices are limited. There are a small number of possibilities, including:
- East Tennessee State University (ETSU): Although not located within Virginia’s borders, ETSU’s LPN to BSN program features 100% online didactic coursework, so you will never have to come to campus. Clinicals are currently available at a number of Tennessee healthcare facilities. They are generally taken on weekends during the final two semesters of the program, making the program a potential choice for LPNs living in the southeast Virginia area.
- Wilson College: LPNs living in the NoVa region of Virginia seeking to earn their nursing bachelor’s may want to consider the LPN to BSN program at Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. Like ETSU’s program, the Wilson LPN to BSN program is primarily online, meaning you won’t need to travel to campus to attend classes. Students in the Wilson program are required to travel to Pennsylvania to attend clinical hours. However, those living at least two hours from the Wilson campus are eligible for the program’s low-residency option in which students can complete their clinical requirements with just seven to 10 days of clinicals during the last three semesters of the program.
As with any online program, particularly those that are based out of state, it’s important that you speak with a program advisor to gain a clear understanding of all program requirements as well as to get answers to any questions you might have regarding eligibility for Virginia RN licensure. And to learn more about online LPN to BSN programs in general, be sure to check out EduMed’s Top LPN to BSN Programs Online guide.
Common Questions About Online LPN to BSN Programs in Virginia
Are online LPN programs less expensive than campus programs in Virginia?
The costs of LPN to BSN programs are not substantially impacted by the inclusion of online program components. For example, tuition rates are typically the same for on-campus and online/hybrid programs and classes. You may, however, save money on your overall education price tag once you factor in savings on such things as the transportation expenses (gas, parking, etc.) associated with traveling to and from campus to attend in-person classes.
Can I finish my LPN to BSN program in Virginia faster by taking classes online?
It’s unlikely you’ll finish faster online since most LPN to BSN programs in Virginia follow a relatively strict semester course schedule. However, programs with asynchronous coursework may, in some cases, allow students to increase their study pace resulting in somewhat shortened completion times. The only way to really know for sure, though, is to speak with a program advisor.
Will earning my LPN to BSN degree online affect my ability to get licensed?
The fact that your program includes online coursework will not impact your eligibility for RN licensure in Virginia or any other state. As long as your LPN to BSN program qualifies you to take the NCLEX-RN exam and meets any and all other RN license requirements, you’ll be fine.
Will employers care if I took some of my LPN to BSN classes online?
Online education has become such a common part of college programs today that it is highly unlikely that any employer of registered nurses in Virginia or anywhere else today would bat an eye at the fact that a job applicant earned their BSN degree in a program with online classes or other components.
How Do I Go from Being an LPN to a BSN Nurse in Virginia?
As an LPN in Virginia, you’re already familiar with the process of applying for and obtaining your practical nursing license. You’ll find the process for RN licensure to be very similar. Here are the steps LPN to BSN students will take to obtain their Virginia RN license by exam:
- Complete your LPN to BSN program, including the minimum of 500 direct contact care hours required for RN licensure.
- Begin the Virginia RN license application process by using the online Application Wizard. Complete the application and pay the required application fee. As part of the application process, you will be required to submit a fingerprint-based criminal background check, attestation of graduation or final transcript from your LPN to BSN program, and, if your nursing school is located outside of Virginia, verification of clinical hours.
- Apply for the NCLEX-RN exam with Pearson VUE, the exam’s administrator. To avoid delays, apply immediately after submitting your RN license application.
- Receive your Authorization to Test (ATT) from Pearson VUE. Once you’ve met all RN application requirements, the VBON will inform Pearson VUE, which will then issue your ATT.
- Schedule and take the NCLEX-RN exam. If you pass, Pearson VUE will inform the VBON, which will then issue your Virginia RN license.
LPN vs. BSN Salary and Job Demand in Virginia
Upgrading your credentials can lead to higher salaries in many industries. The nursing sector is no exception. There are plenty of potential career paths to take when venturing into this sector. Taking the LPN to BSN track can offer graduates more opportunities as well as income. Let’s look at how much you can make by committing to this transition in Arizona.
How much more can I make going from an LPN to BSN in Virginia?
BSN nurses in Virginia can expect a substantial increase in their paychecks compared to what they earned as LPNs. A clear demonstration of those increases can be found in the chart below that features U.S. Department of Labor median annual salary figures for LPNs and RNs in the largest metro areas of Virginia. As a BSN-educated nurse, you can also expect to command a much higher salary compared to RNs with only an associate degree.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2021
What’s the job market like for BSN nurses in Virginia vs. LPNs?
Job growth for RNs in Virginia is strong, and that growth is expected to continue. For example, the total number of RN jobs in Virginia is expected to grow by more than 4,000, or 8.3%, between 2020 and 2030 according to estimates from the U.S. Department of Labor. That’s just slightly less than the estimate for the nation as a whole, as well as for LPNs both in Virginia and the entire U.S.
Source: Projections Central